[Histonet] Negative IHC control

Patti Loykasek ploykasek <@t> phenopath.com
Thu Mar 9 10:18:06 CST 2006

Just a few more thoughts on the negative control issue. Everyone has raised
very good & valid points. For the CAP checklist, it is good to remember the
intent behind the question.
I think a vital piece of information, is to know your IHC 'system' -
antibodies, detection system, pretreatment, etc... This involves both the
pathologist and the technologist. Both should have enough knowledge &
experience to determine specificity & sensitivity of all of the components
of the system. If you are not familiar with your antibodies & how they look,
all the possible negative controls won¹t help much. It is important when
bringing Œon-line¹ new antibodies to test them on many tissues- both tumor &
normal that should show positivity & negativity. Determine what the
specificity & sensitivity is in your lab. There are varying pre-analytical
factors that can contribute to non-specific staining. If you are very
familiar with your Œsystem¹, than running multiple negative controls is not
necessary. In the clinical setting, it is important not to waste a patient¹s
precious diagnostic biopsy by running every possible permutation of negative
control ­ I have seen this happen on more than one occasion.
Just my thoughts on the issue.

Patti Loykasek BS, HTL, QIHC
PhenoPath Laboratories
Seattle, WA

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